slice of italian apple cake
Italian Lifestyle

Delicious Italian apple cake recipe: how to make one of Italy’s most popular homemade cakes

Tried and tested Italian apple cake recipe: learn how to make at home this delicious Italian cake.

Italian apple cake is a classic cake you find, in one form or another, in all Italian family recipe books.

It is a delicate and easy-to-make cake and it is most commonly used as a breakfast cake, a little like ciambellone, or as an afternoon snack for kids.

However, it can easily be served also as a homely dessert.

I make this cake often and the recipe I use comes from my handwritten notebook with all the recipes friends and family passed on to me in the last 30 years.

The memory of who first made this cake this way is lost: you can say it is a household classic for us!

Baking this cake requires no baking experience and you can easily involve your kids too.

This is how you make an Italian apple cake.

Italian apple cake ingredients

  • 300 g/ 2 cups flour
  • 15g yeast – I use instant dry yeast
  • 150g / 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g / 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 dl milk (a splash)
  • 4 small apples
  • Grated lemon rind

What types of apples are best for Italian apple cake?

I am not fussy when it comes to apples for my cake and I usually use whatever variety I happen to have in the house at the time.

If you are heading to the shop to stock up, however, you may want to look for some varieties in particular.

For apple cake, ‘renette’ apples are popular in Italy and maintain a nice bite when cooked.

If you are in Emilia Romagna, you may find Campanina Apples, which are absolutely perfect for this recipe.

As an alternative, I also like golden or delicious apples, fuji or even pink ladies, which are the type I find more commonly when abroad.

Fun fact: did you know Italy is the EU’s second-largest producer of apples? It is also the leading producer of organic apples! You can find here >>> a list of the most popular apples in Italy.

Kitchen gear you need to make Italian apple cake

  • A large bowl for mixing
  • A wooden spoon
  • A spring tin for cooking

How to make Italian apple cake: step by step recipe

Place the butter in a large bowl and use a wooden spoon or electric whisk to work it until it turns into a thick paste.

Once you have a smooth cream with no lumps, add the eggs and mix them in, then add sugar, flour, yeast and finally add a quick grating of lemon rind.

As needed, add the milk so that the mixing becomes easier and the mixture more humid.

Need to know: add the milk slowly and, if possible, use it at room temperature rather than straight from the fridge and this will help avoid lumps.

Once you have your mixture ready, peel your apples and cut them into small chunks. Put them into the mixture and fold them in.

Need to know! I keep pealing the apple as the last step to prevent them from browning. If you prefer to peel them and chop them in advance, you can preserve their color and texture by adding some lemon juice to them and keeping them covered with cling film.

Now take your spring tin, butter it and give it a light dusting of flour to prevent your cake from sticking.

Then, pour in your batter and give it a quick dusting with granulated sugar.

Put in the oven at 180degrees for about 50 minutes then stick a toothpick in the cake to check the inside.

If the toothpick comes out clean (bar some apple pulp) your cake is ready!

Serve hot or cold with or without Italian pastry cream.

Italian apple cake with a slice cut off

How to serve Italian apple cake

You can serve Italian apple cake as a breakfast cake: once cool, you can keep the cake for 2-3 days (make sure you cover it to prevent drying)

You can serve this cake as an accompaniment to tea or afternoon coffee

You can serve it with creamy Italian custard: it works perfectly as a homely dessert.

italian apple cake, whole

Homemade Italian Apple Cake Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This is an easy to make, delicious family favorite, a delicate apple cake, Italian style! This recipe makes a fluffy spong cake with bits of delicious apples, a perfect cake for breakfast or an afternoon snack and a sure success with kids and adults alike.

This Italian apple cake requires no baking experience and needs to complex kitchen equipment. It is the perfect cake for new bakers and a great kid friendly Italian recipe.

Ingredients

  • 300 g/ 2 cups flour
  • 15g yeast - I use instant dry yeast
  • 150g / 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g / 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 dl milk (a splash)
  • 4 small apples
  • Grated lemon rind

Instructions

Place the butter in a large bowl and use a wooden spoon or electric whisk to work it until it turns into a thick paste.

Once you have a smooth cream with no lumps, add the eggs and mix them in, the add sugar, flour, yeast and finally add a quick grating of lemon rind.

As needed, add the milk so that the mixing become easier and the mixture more humid.

Once all the ingredients are well mixed together, peel and slice your apples and cut them into small chunks (I like an inch) and fold them in. Sprinkle some sugar on top to help it get a golden color when cooking.

Butter your spring tin and dust it slighly with flour, then shake out the excess, so the cake doesn't stick.

Pour the mixture in and cook in a hot over at 180C/350F for about 55 mins. Serve hot or cold.

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Marta Correale is an Italian mama of two. Born and raised in Rome, Marta has a passion for travel and especially enjoys showing off Italy to her kids, who are growing up to love it as much as she does! A classics graduate, teacher of Italian as a second language and family travel blogger, Marta launched Mama Loves Italy as a way to inspire, support and help curious visitors to make the most of a trip to Italy and learn about Italian culture on the way.

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